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  • The Indonesian city of Yogyakarta rests on central Java,

  • between the cool breezes of the Indian Ocean and the steamy breath of volcanoes.

  • It's a scenic train ride from Jakarta,

  • or a short flight from Bali or Singapore.

  • The home of sultans, artists and the devout since the 8th century,

  • Yogyakarta is the gentle epicenter of classical Javanese culture and education.

  • Step from the main station into the bustling flow of Jalan Malioboro,

  • and you could be in just about any Javanese city.

  • This is where Jogja, as the city is known,

  • comes to wander, shop, and snack,

  • but refinement, is just a becak ride away.

  • Cruise down Jalan Malioboro to the very soul of the city, the Kraton.

  • Since 1785 this city within a city has been the home of sultans,

  • and the keeping place of Yogyakarta's incredible cultural,

  • intellectual and spiritual traditions.

  • While the inner palace serves as the royal family's private home,

  • the ceremonial courtyards,

  • pavilionsand museums are open to all.

  • Nearby, visit Taman Sari, the water palace where sultans of old - and their chosen few

  • could escape the demands of duty, and the Javanese sun.

  • Yogyakarta's courtly center sets the tone of Javanese culture,

  • and from here the island's arts flow forth in all their purest forms.

  • In the gamelan's percussive magic,

  • which drifts across the Kraton's walls to far-off kampongs,

  • inspiring the maestros of tomorrow.

  • In the ageless shadows of the Wayang Kulit puppets,

  • who pass thousand-year-old stories of good and evil across the ages.

  • In the fine strands of silver, which have been woven into delicate artworks for centuries.

  • In a cuisine that leans toward sweetness rather than fire,

  • and in the molten beeswax making its rhythmic marks across the finest batiks.

  • While Jogja is a place of tradition,

  • it's also a place of ever-evolving culture.

  • Just a few steps from the Kraton, walk the lanes of Kampong Cyber,

  • where the community has combined street art with online expression

  • to forge new creative possibilities.

  • A short becak ride away is the Affandi Museum,

  • the former home, gallery and resting place

  • of the maverick artist who loosened the binds of tradition,

  • and created a seismic shift in Indonesian painting.

  • Jogja has long been at the epicenter of political and ideological shifts as well.

  • Just across from the presidential palace,

  • pass through the gates of Fort Vredeburg to hear the stories of resistance and sacrifice

  • that led to the creation of the Indonesian Republic.

  • Just 10 miles to the north-east of Jogja,

  • venture back to the eighth and ninth centuries,

  • to a time when Buddhism and Hinduism vied for the kingdom's hearts and minds.

  • Prambanan is the heart of a Hindu temple network that stretches for miles.

  • Pay your respects at the towering temples of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma,

  • then follow the bas-relief panels in a clock-wise direction

  • to see epic Hindu tales unfold from within the stone.

  • Just a half hour stroll from the main complex is Ratu Boko,

  • where palatial remains frame the same views to Mount Merapi

  • once enjoyed by the visiting princes who rested here after long days of devotion.

  • Yogyakarta sits at the doorstep of incredible Buddhist monasteries and temples too.

  • While many stand shoulder to shoulder with the Hindu temples of the Prambanan Plain,

  • the greatest of them all, Borobudur, lies 20 miles to the northwest.

  • Borobudur is the world's largest Buddhist temple,

  • and one of the most visited sights on all of Indonesia's 13,000 islands.

  • Come early for a sunrise you'll never forget,

  • as hundreds of stone Buddhas bless the new day's light,

  • just as they have for over a millennia.

  • Yogyakarta is more than just a city; it's a kingdom.

  • Climb aboard a dokar and ride though the immaculate farmlands

  • and kampongs of the rural heartlands,

  • where life's necessities and pleasures are still handmade,

  • and made with heart.

  • Meet the people who live calmly and creatively within the shadow of Mount Merapi,

  • an active volcano whose moods have been known

  • to topple temples and bury villages with ash.

  • In our unsteady, rapidly-changing world,

  • deep cultural roots anchor us to all that is important.

  • Culture teaches us to embrace and appreciate the meaning in all life's moments,

  • from the richest to the ordinary.

  • If that's the kind of journey you're looking for,

  • take a ride through Yogyakarta,

  • a cultural kingdom that steadies the spirit,

  • and inspires the soul.

The Indonesian city of Yogyakarta rests on central Java,

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Yogyakarta Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia (4K)

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    Eric Wang posted on 2019/03/01
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